John McCain and the Religious Right — Increasingly Comfortable and Not So Odd Bedfellows

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Before you can be Commander-in-Chief, you have to be Panderer-in-Chief. Or so thinks John McCain, anyway, who continues to discard his “moderate” and “maverick” labels in favor of listing very strategically to the right. A run-down:

Yesterday on ABC, McCain said that he supports the overturning of Roe v. Wade. A few years ago, McCain told the San Francisco Chronicle this:

I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.

McCain yesterday on ABC:

I do believe that it’s very likely or possible that the Supreme Court should — could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states, which I support… I don’t believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade.

Of course, this all recalls the McCain-Falwell saga, where McCain told reporters during his 2000 presidential run that Falwell, Robertson and their ilk were bad for the country, and that Falwell specifically was an “agent of intolerance.”* Early this year, McCain took back the “agent of intolerance” quote and gave the commencement address at Falwell’s Liberty University.

And two days ago, ThinkProgress blogged that McCain is hiring Falwell’s staffers. Specifically, the debate coach at Liberty University, who will advise McCain on communications issues. So we can look forward to McCain’s new position on fighting the war on terror: “Blow them all away in the name of the Lord.”

* That is a pretty easy case to make. Here’s Falwell on the causes of 9/11:

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.’

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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